Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Lost/forgot shirt. Left shirt on fence.
Tore shirt, tore coat lining.
[No one ever cared enough to tear down your house]
Thrown shirt, wadded up and tossed in your face,
damp and sweat-smelling. Stolen shirt. Shirt run over
by a van. Sleeves
sewn together. A sleeve you crawl up
and curl up and sleep in. Stretchy fabric tacked
to the ceiling. Strange low-hanging fruit.
Slung like hammocks in the elevator shaft
[Will you die in your sleep] In the back of the cave
Buried in the footnotes     A grand proclamation
reduced to a few jumbled words
in block lettering on the front of a t-shirt
Tiny hooks embedded in your skin    Up and down your arm
Ripped stocking, arguing in Tagalog, your wrists tied
above your head. Someone pounding down the door
egg slap     fell and cracked your head     nothing absorbed
a slick rubber mat     apples that taste like plastic
caterpillar shit glistening on a leaf     the hood of your car
Database of average prices          plastic hangers fused together
I still can't see what's driving you      I still can't see what
you're driving.      Every holiday always turns out to be Easter
Spray painted on the side of the blue dumpster,
NOBODY then underneath that RIP then underneath that CONSUME
I'm trying to smile more. More passion less precision.
Skim a little off the top       Face buried in a magic briefcase
Or maybe that was just the shirt with the company logo worn by the man
holding the mattress sign on the corner,
wiggling and flipping it until his arms are tired.
Letters typed by animals on an old typewriter.
[Will you sleep in my arms]
The philosophers stone which transforms plastic
back into oil so we can inject it back into the ground
Start a fresh marketing campaign we can all be proud of
Why bother using quality materials when
it all goes to threads in the end 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


 The last person born in the nineteenth century died at 117
Hadn’t left her apartment for twenty years, ate three raw eggs a day

Warships off the coast of Korea
I don’t remember this music being so gentle
I thought I’d have more messages by now

It’s spooky down here
I check to make sure there's
nothing under the bed

Gabriel Garcia-Marquez also died
and the guy who wrote Zen and the Art
of Motorcycle Maintenance

and my coworker’s mother
in her nineties, living alone in some farmhouse
up in Canada
I don’t even know her name but I’ll bury
some pale whisper of her here

The waves are dragged back into the sea
against their will
dragging their fingernails against the sand

And others

The wood paneled den
Two wood ducks, male and female,
mounted to a plaque on the wall
in the semblance of flying

They found my coworker’s mother in the basement
she’d been dead since the day before
Some neighbor found her

Robert Persig, that’s his name
It’s been a long day, it’s too late,
I’m too tired, I’ll never get this

done on time

Monday, April 24, 2017


Kosher dill pickles
speared from the jar with a knife

I’m thinking about licking
I’m thinking about licking

There were only a few words
I repeated them over and over

Took a bite of the pickle, the cold crunch
All smooth and seeds inside
I’m thinking about repeating

There was a patch of small, smooth bumps
on your inner arm
I was thinking about licking

Juice runs down my chin
I wipe it away with the back of my hand

Rain blowing sideways
jasmine petals scattered on the
wet terracotta, exploded stars

I’m thinking about your skin, the pavement,
the fallen blossoms

You squeeze into
You squeeze into the jar

Floating diamonds
Swirling seeds

Lights of the drawbridge
reflected in the river

I take the knife and stab the last
kosher dill
lift it to the light
press its tip against
your skin
your skin

The terracotta
The repetition

the stars

I take a bite

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Half Hitch

It took so long to cut all those ropes
all the straps, the strings, the ribbons,
the lengths of cord and twine
the wire, the tape, the zip ties

When it was done we lay there panting
rubbing the sore stripes on our skin
no longer bound to one another
no longer weighing each other down

I gathered all the severed ropes
and straps and strings and lengths of twine
and clutched them tight, buried my face
in their tangle

When you put your hand on my shoulder
I hugged the bindings close to my chest
Refused to  loosen my grip or even look at you
when you whispered my name

I'm Not Even Going to Mention Those Two German Girls with Their Pomeranian

Finally diagonal

I dug a hole two feet deep into the earth and stood in it

The motorcycle wove in and out of traffic

The water of the pond was bright green with algae

The tattered Tibetan flags fluttered in the wind

There was a plastic combination pen and change holder
on the glass counter holding two pens and
six pennies

We lost interest in one another at approximately the same time

I tried to recall the last time I’d committed an act of kindness
that didn’t involve my cat

There was an estate sale at the hoarder’s house
every day for a week

The last woman born in the 19th century died at 117

The lights of the windows looked like eyes

I put out my hand and an apple fell into it

I missed her so much

The drunker he gets the more pronounced his speech impediment becomes

I’m having trouble placing his accent
It’s halfway between German and Scottish

I stared at the back of their heads, spread my arms wide, prepared to dive

Her glowing palm was all I could see in the dark as she lit her cigarette

She is starring in a stage adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time

My life was blessed in more ways than I could count, in ways I could never begin to deserve, and yet I still griped

He paid her to get down on her knees. She paid him to let her get back up

A light winked out forever and we didn’t notice until much later

Two of them were very ugly but the other was extraordinarily beautiful

Sometimes clichés really resonate

He convinced himself he could communicate with insects

She used her compact to flash signals in Morse code

Most of the statements I collected that night were trivial at best
I hoped to give them meaning by stringing them together, though I know
my chances were slim
I hoped to create a beautiful patchwork quilt

Suddenly the place was overrun by an army of women with beautiful legs

You longed to shave the entire world bald

Pearl snaps on a plaid Western shirt

Teeth sink into the meat, it’s time to go just as it’s getting started

Time to make some late night ill-advised telephone calls

Friday, April 21, 2017

Apple Watch

 Your whisper rustling paper
Cardboard and burlap, fat pink marks
running down both arms. Satin ribbons
and woolly twine, honey dipped in lace.
My wife. Socks bunched around your ankles.
Necklace of snake vertebrae coiled
around your wrist. I ask you where you got it
and you say a man with an apple cart
gave it to you. I look at the watch
 you gave me for Christmas years ago.
Its strap is broken, held together with
a safety pin. The Tree of Knowledge
was actually the Tree of Time
and a hissing salesman sold Eve
the first watch, which she gave to Adam
as an anniversary gift. He just bought her
another set of lacy fig leaf lingerie.
Ever since then, you've clung to my back
 while something clings to your back
and something else clings to that thing's back
and so on and so on. You scatter strands
here and there, hoping someone will gather them up
and braid them together but no one does.
Hair sprouts from the cracks when you laugh.
What worm burrows beneath your skin,
pushing to get out? What is that itch?
What is that thing inside you wanting to hatch,
ticking and ticking just like 
this watch